Matt Walsh: “The Real Problem With Voting Is Too Many People Are Doing It, And It’s Too Easy”
Matt Walsh, a contributor for the Daily Wire, opined in a Sunday episode that the problem with voting is that it’s too easy, and too many people are doing it. He doesn’t believe people who “have nothing to do but protest” should be allowed to vote, and his proposals for limiting who can cast a vote will sound familiar to anyone who has read a little history of voting rights in the United States.
In the video below, Walsh says that he thinks voter fraud is a legitimate concern, but that in fact, too many people are currently voting legally. He’s been talking about protestors, and has said, “the left has a never-ending supply of people who have nothing to do but protest.” He’s continuing with this line of thought as he moves on to voting.
Below is a lightly-edited partial transcript of the relevant segment of the episode.
The real issue with voting…is that there are too many people doing it and it’s too easy to do. This has already been the case with voting in general. Mail-in voting will only exacerbate the ever-present problem…If you are a non-contributing ignoramus, someone who has no real stake in society, and who contributes nothing of substance to it, who is not productive and who knows nothing about our system, then you should not be able to participate in it, at least in the capacity of a voter. You know voting ought to be a privilege reserved for informed grown-up contributing members of society. If you aren’t paying taxes then you shouldn’t have any say in where tax money, other people’s money, goes…Now I wouldn’t advocate for taking first amendment rights away from protesters,
who are ignorant non-contributing dummies, as tempting of a thought as that might be at times. No, they have the right to speak their mind of course, but they don’t have the right to do it in the middle of the highway but and they don’t have the right to do it while throwing Molotov cocktails…If you’re not an informed tax-paying citizen…then you shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Ignorant, non-contributing, non-productive people can march through the city annoying everyone as is their right, but they shouldn’t have the right to dictate the direction of the country via the ballot box.
He offers some specific proposals: voting should be allowed only for “tax-paying adults,” with adults defined as age 25 and up, who can pass a Civics exam on the 6th-grade level, and who are capable of and willing to leave their house on voting day and go to a physical polling place to cast a vote.
Carnegie offers a short history of voting rights, explaining how literacy tests (with arbitrary ‘grading’), poll taxes, and similar rules were implemented in the south in the 1960s. These were specifically created as a barrier to help prevent African American citizens from voting.
While voting was initially limited to white, male, property holders, voting rights gradually expanded. Though the 15th Amendment granted (on paper) the right of African Americans to vote, exercising that right was prevented by measures from poll taxes to violence. In the 60s, as the fight for voting rights rose, Southern states started adding more restrictions, aimed at immigrants, POC, and low-income citizens. Activists pushed back, and over time, with protests, marches, arrests, and even deaths, their fight won protections for voting rights. POC’s right to vote was enshrined in law. Poll taxes were outlawed, and the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18. It took until 1982 to pass legislation requiring states to make voting accessible for people with disabilities. (None of this is to say that voter suppression didn’t continue, only that legislation began to be some protection against it.)
Walsh’s proposals fly in the face of these hard-won — and hard-won by protest and activism — rights. Requiring people to appear in person to vote shuts out many with disabilities, or in nursing homes, or who may be currently hospitalized or deployed. Literacy tests for voting shut out some people with disabilities, and are subject to abuse, as our history shows. Limiting voting for those between 18 and 25 (notably, younger voters tend to be demographically more liberal) would require overturning a constitutional amendment.
Voting has been affirmed in the United States as a sacred right. There are still some demographics who are shut out of it, but